Honoring Grief & Praise

• • • 

“Praise is Grief’s voice and neither ever disappears, because they are the sounds of all parts of the world and universe, each living according to its own nature, each entire in itself, each a willing participle in the great prayer of praise singing the world back to life.”

• • • 

As I sit down to write this, I feel the charge of this topic coursing through my entire body. I feel the lifetimes of repression, I feel the oceans of pain, and I feel the dark enveloping caves of shame. I feel all the ways in which I’ve refused to let grief enter me in this lifetime. I feel the heavy bags laying dormant in the hallways of my family — untouched, unopened, and too difficult to look at. I feel the lifetimes of grief that we have collectively worked with diligence and effectiveness to push down, down, down — into the darkest and dimmest recesses of the collective unconscious. I feel the all of the animals (grief doctors) who without choice and with through pure receptivity, take on our unfelt grief. I feel our Mother Earth, absorbing and composting as quickly as time allows — processing our grief, hoping that we in time, return to the mighty fountain of grief with open arms. Hoping that we one day open ourselves up to the entirety of its divine expression, its deep-seated wisdom, and its love - delivered to us via songs of praise. 

• • • 

“Grief permerates life and grieving can take many forms, but grief can never be outrun or simply thought away, transcended or meditated into non-existence. Necessary grief when shunned or unattended can easily hide for years, even generations, in the skeletal structure of the family collective psyche. Like light, matter, sound, and energy, grief will eventually manifest even among those in the future who did not consciously experienced the loss.”

• • • 

Yet, at the same time, I feel the pure ecstasy, bliss and sacred pool of love that lives at the center of grief. I feel the ritual of pure praise and uninhibited amplification of prayer that is ever-present and readily available as we continue to open. I feel the old ways, the wise ways — the ways that seem so far behind yet are still existing so closely; waiting with patience to be accessed, in the marrow of our bones and the streams of our blood. I feel the medicine, the healing, and the parts of ourselves we have long forgotten sitting in silence, making home in the holy temples of grief. I feel the resilience of the natural world; the wisdom of trees and their innate ability to absorb and process, all that is too much for us to bear. I feel the knowing of wild animals; the ways in which with uncanny mercurial prowess, they play the game of symbology, letting us know that it’s okay. I feel the ancestors, arms stretched out, helping from the other side in anyway they can.

I feel the ever-expanding web of impact from this work, spinning in all directions through the entire time-space continuum. Weaving out for those who walked before us who did their best but were not as equipped. Weaving through the physical, for those who surround us today still breathing who need the push, the hand stretched outwards, and the “follow me.” Weaving forwards in time, for those who have yet to come, for the next seven generations whose feet will walk Mother Earth. 

• • • 

"Grief expressed out loud, whether in or out of character, unchoreographed and honest, for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses."

• • • 

I feel that it’s not my place, I’m nowhere near experienced enough to share about this. It’s too soon, it’s not soon enough. It’s too deep, it’s not deep enough. It’s too tender, it’s not tender enough. I feel the spirits of all of those close to me who have departed filling the air. I feel the mother-line of hidden wise-women I come from standing behind me, hands on each other shoulders. “This is important, keep going” they whisper into my ear through the rustling of the wind, through the hummingbird staring at me outside of the window, through the medicines, books, objects, and teachers that seem to permeate my reality with the teachings of grief. 

• • • 

"Grief is an obligation to the life one has been awarded, an obligation to life to make more life."

• • • 

I find myself in a season of life where I am immersed in the teachings of grief. The miracle is not lost on me that winter is in fact, a season that asks us to grieve. I am in no way an expert, teacher, or guide through this primordial om of pure agony and pure ecstasy. I am a humble student. I am a passenger on a canoe amidst a sea of collective unwept tears.

I am paddling on a journey that appears to be leading me towards an understanding of the ways in which the repression of grief has been imprinted upon me. Through these salty waters I am meeting my shame and fear around publicly grieving. I am meeting my bodies old resistance and newfound openness to releases it has yearned for. And in these chance encounters, I am seeing that my humble human experience is nothing more than a divine microcosm, illustrating our collective relationship to grief.

• • • 

“Grief is not a preference, for choosing not to have grief when grief is there is to defer and burden someone else with having to do your grieving. This makes the world a sick place.”

• • • 

I am singing, wailing, screaming, laughing, and crying. I am journeying with grief from this lifetime and lifetimes before; myself, my family, my ancestors and the collective bundles of karma all seem to blur as I swim, map-less, through the ocean of tears and the waters of grief. I am communing with prayer through songs that I don’t remember being taught but I seem to know all the words to. I am beginning to understand the relationship between the holy neighbors, grief and praise, living underneath the landlord of love. 

• • •
 
"Grief has a sound, a sound that embarrasses the repressed and offends the oppressive; grief is the sound of being alive."

• • • 

I share this, not to teach, lead, or guide — but in the hopes that it serves as a form of medicine for you. I share with the hope that through my humble human experience, you may begin to become curious about grief, about praise, and about the gifts they may be holding, the wisdom they may be distilling, and the songs they may be singing — all for you. 

• • • 

"Grieving is a sacred art, not an art whose products should be should sold or seen objectively. Grieving is an art that when it is fully known and made to actively happen in all its grandeur and integrity, is the backbone of all real peace. It is the art of all arts; it is the art behind all real arts."

• • • 

All quotes from Martin Prechtel’s, “The Smell of Rain on Dust”

 
578_Phytology_Website-Mullein-Thumb.jpg
 

A l l i e s   f o r   G r i e f 

The Smell of Rain on Dust by Martin Prechtel + his Entire Body of Work

Stephen Jenkinson's Entire Body of Work

Datura Flower Essence from Sophia Rose of La Abeja Herbs

Medicine Drums from Justen of Bears Primal Arts

This Rich Post from Wisdom Keeper Nancy Shanteau

Oatstraw Infusions

Mullein Infusion, Essence, or Tincture 

• • • 

If you enjoyed these words click below to join Slow Medicine
& have bi-monthly magic delivered to your inbox